Media and foreign policy in Turkey: the tezkere crisis of 2003
Günaydın, Hakan (2008) Media and foreign policy in Turkey: the tezkere crisis of 2003. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1266193 (Table of Contents)
On March 1, 2003, the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) debated a bill that would meet the US requests and authorize the deployment of roughly 62.000 4th Infantry Division troops to Northern Iraq via Turkish territory. The parliament favored the deployment of the US troops by 264 to 251 with 19 abstentions. However, considering the abstentions, the bill failed to achieve the absolute majority required for its ratification by only three votes (267 votes). Despite the strong opposition on the public level and in the parliament, this outcome was largely unexpected for both Washington and Ankara. More importantly, this unexpected consequence, which is known as the "Parliamentary Bill Crisis", has been regarded as a major turning point and set-back for US-Turkish relations. This study explicates the newspaper coverage of the decision-making process that led to the "Parliamentary Bill Crisis". With a content analysis of the media rhetoric during this process, this study aims to analyze how the media presented the issue and it also questions if a link exists between the media's framing of the issue and the ideological positioning of newspapers in Turkey. Furthermore, this study discusses the role of the media in Turkish foreign policy in general. With this aim in mind, articles from three Turkish daily newspapers; Milliyet, Yeni Şafak and Evrensel between the period between 26 October, 2002 and 1 March, 2003 was subject to content analysis. The results of the research suggest a clear division between the three newspapers in their framing of the issue and the effect of their ideological positions on this. This differentiation is mainly on the basis of, ideological-identity (leftist-religious) related factors on the one hand, and rationalist-cost benefit calculations (realpolitik) on the other. Lastly, the role of the media especially in relation to the Parliamentary Bill Crisis should be questioned via its role on affecting the domestic context in which the public debate took place, its rhetoric and its effect on the formation of the public opinion and directly its effect on the parliamentarians.
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